Nissan Ariya review
The Nissan Ariya is a great-looking and well-equipped electric family SUV, but its boot is a bit on the small side and other EVs have better charging capabilities
What's not so good
Find out more about the Nissan Ariya
If you’ve got your heart set on a well-equipped, posh-feeling electric family SUV, then the Nissan Ariya is worth a look in. In many ways, it’s like a classic Full English breakfast: it gets all the basics ingredients right – think sausages, bacon, toast and eggs – but misses out on the hash browns and black pudding that you’d find in alternatives such as the Audi Q4 e-tron and Skoda Enyaq.
Still, it’s certainly easy on the eyes. With its large front grille, sloping roofline and snazzy rear light, it’s one of the best-looking electric SUVs around. The option of a contrast roof that’s a different colour to the rest of the car is a nice touch, too. You might even think the Ariya looks a bit like a NASA space shuttle.
The interior is just as stylish. Here you’ll find clean lines across the dashboard, two large digital displays and plenty of plush-feeling materials. A clever moveable centre console that slides back and forth at the press of a button also helps you to maximise on-board passenger space. This comes in handy if you’ve got a taller person in the rear middle seat.
The seats continue the Ariya’s space shuttle theme, too. Their specially designed ridges and cushioning are supposedly inspired by NASA technology, and help to keep you super comfortable over long distances. There’s plenty of passenger space in the back, too.
However, a lack of boot space brings the Ariya crashing back down to Earth. Front-wheel drive models get 466 litres of storage, which is considerably less space than what you’d find in nearly every other alternative. A Skoda Enyaq, for instance, offers 585 litres of boot space.
I think the Ariya’s space shuttle looks are absolutely fantastic, and it really does feel posh inside. It’s a pity the boot isn’t bigger, though!
With the Ariya, you get the choice of front- or all-wheel-drive, as well as two battery sizes – 63kWh and 87kWh. The all-wheel-drive versions come exclusively with the 87kWh battery, and you can get an ‘e-4ORCE’ performance version too. The entry-level Ariya offers 217hp, while the range-topper dishes up 394hp – that’s fairly ferocious for a “sensible” family SUV.
What’s arguably more important is how far it can go on a charge. With front-wheel drive and the 87kWh battery, Nissan claims a 310-mile range (though in the real-world you’ll see closer to 250 miles). Alternatives such as the Polestar 2 and VW ID4 have a higher claimed range, but not by much.
The Ariya can charge at up to 130kW, which isn’t as fast as some alternatives. But you’ll still be able to top the battery up from 10-80% in 35 minutes if you find a suitable DC rapid charger, which isn’t bad. At home, a 7kW charger will take 14 hours to go from 0-100% capacity.
Driving the Ariya is pretty relaxing, with only a little bit of wind and road noise making its way into the cabin. But there are some jitters that come through the suspension that can make it feel a little bit unsettled over smaller bumps and cracks in the road.
Around town, its light steering helps with manoeuvring, and it accelerates incredibly smoothly thanks to its electric power. However, there’s a large blind spot over your shoulder, and the back window is pretty tiny. You can get a digital rear view mirror to help out with this, though, and this camera-based system really comes in handy when you’ve loaded the boot up to the roof.
All up, the Ariya looks fantastic both inside and out, and is available with some pretty clever tech. That said, it’s not massively fun to drive (a Ford Mustang Mach-E is), and its comparatively small boot give the likes of the Skoda Enyaq and Volkswagen ID.4 the edge.
Still, if you like the look of the Ariya, then check out our Nissan deals page to see how much you could save when you buy through carwow.
Build your own Ariya on carwow
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.